It’s never been more important to consider eco-friendliness and sustainability when starting a new business.
This is an important aspect for many consumers while, of course, being important for the environment at the same time!
If you’re a budding green entrepreneur, you can find a few tips here.
Let’s dive in!
How to Start an Eco-friendly Business
Green entrepreneurship is more attractive than ever before. The attention to environmental challenges and sustainable solutions keeps increasing. This means that consumers are also more aware of choosing green businesses than ever before.
If you want to attract the growing number of environmentally aware consumers, you need to focus on starting an eco-friendly business. Check out a few tips for the important initial considerations when entering green entrepreneurship.
Find a Green Vision
Nailing down your vision is the first step. What is the basis for your company? What do you want to contribute to the world? When you figure out what you want to do and why then you can start figuring out how.
Start by writing a comprehensive business plan where you lay out the plan for your business journey. When figuring out what your vision is, you can write a vision statement. This will clarify the why of your business for yourself and others. Read much more on how to write a vision statement here.
Create a Green Brand
When creating a successful business in 2023, you need to be very focused on building a strong, green brand. The process of building your brand should be focused on building trust and communicating your brand identity. The beginning of building your brand consists of creating a visual identity, making a logo, and choosing a name.
The name of your business is one primary aspect of your brand. It should communicate the identity of your business while being catchy at the same time. Naming your business can be challenging but luckily there is help to be found online. You can use an online business name generator to find a name that reflects your eco-friendly mindset.
It is important to remember that most first-time customers very quickly zone in on the name. They will make associations, they will relate it to experiences and events in their lives, and hopefully, then associate with it. That is why a name can’t just be made up on the go. It needs to be well-thought-out and deliberately crafted to maximize its attention-grabbing potential.
Think Green Throughout
To be a green business, you need to think about sustainability throughout your entire business and supply chain. It’s important to consider the many different types of environmental impacts that your business might possibly have. Set up a system where you reduce, reuse, and recycle.
From the very beginning, you should be focused on your carbon footprint and how to keep it at a minimum. It’s much easier to set up a sustainable system from the start than to install it at a later time. Think about everything from where you get your goods to how you package them.
Energy consumption is another very important aspect to consider as well. There are many important aspects to consider, so you should remember to do your research properly. You can start by getting some inspiration from other eco-friendly brands here.
Find Out About National Incentives for Eco-friendliness
Many countries have, to varying degrees, implemented measures whose purpose is to incentivize businesses to either transition to or keep a sustainable and eco-friendly business model. These measures can come in tax deductions/increases, the bestowment of grants, and more.
If you’re starting up an eco-friendly business from the bottom, make sure to research which grants your business can be eligible for. This can potentially reduce your costs for getting started.
As mentioned, taxes are going to play a huge role in the reduction of carbon emissions worldwide. For example, Denmark will introduce a corporate carbon tax in 2025. This effectively means that it is going to be less and less profitable for Danish businesses to avoid limiting emissions, thereby nudging them to reduce their carbon footprint to save their profits.
Similar taxes are already instated or will be instated in much of Europe, so to keep a new business competitive in the long run requires a green focus.
Setup Dependable and Green Supply Chains
One very important factor for any green business is to have a reliable and dependable supply chain that does minimum harm to the environment. The answer to this is recycling. Recycling materials of all kinds make sure that we slow down the consumption of Earth’s finite materials and get the most value out of what we have already harvested.
Take a look at this video by Zmodal for more on green supply chains:
The point here is that recycling sends out ripples in the lake that affect many other things at the same time, bringing about a more positive and green effect. So, make sure that your supply chain is at least mostly oriented towards the use of recycled materials.
However, you must also be aware that not all producers recycle in an eco-friendly way. Recycling can entail large carbon emissions if done poorly.
Consider Hiring Employees Living Close to Your Premises
Now, this is mostly relevant to future business owners that want to establish their business physically in an office or a different type of complex as online-based businesses do not have to factor in this: Commuting.
If you hire employees that live far away from your business, they will have to commute to it. Depending on where you’re located, this will most likely be by car. Cars with traditional engines are one of the major sources of carbon emissions, and if an employee has to drive back and forth five days a week, it adds up.
The solution to this is to hire employees that are within a reasonable range of your premises. Ideally, you would also want to establish your business in a place where public transport is much more accessible. Trains and buses do emit carbon, but it is at a much smaller scale.
If you’re serious about optimizing your business in an eco-friendly way, this is something you will have to factor in.
Purchasing Energy-efficient Equipment and Using Green Electricity
Regardless of the type of business you run, you will most likely need equipment of one sort or the other. Equipment typically needs this one thing to function: power/electricity. Electricity is one of the major cornerstones of modern society. Almost nothing truly runs without being involved with electricity at some point. For this reason, it is very important that the electricity you use comes from renewable sources.
Electricity generated from the burning of coal, gas, or oil is one of the largest dangers to our planet’s health. As such, no business that uses electricity generated from these sources can call themselves truly Co2 neutral.
Fortunately, the implementation of renewable electricity from solar, water, and wind power is on the rise. This makes it not only more accessible but also makes it cheaper and cheaper to use.
Make sure you source your electricity for your equipment from an eco-friendly alternative to coal, gas, or oil. In the future, these resources are going to become scarce, their prices will soar, and you will be left behind. Renewables are going to be one of the few viable and dependable sources of power.
Wrapping Up: Early Preparation is the Key
As you’ve most likely noticed, the general trend the tips in this article follow is: Be prepared before you get started. Eco-friendly businesses do require extra effort to get up and running, but it does pay off.
You will be avoiding potential new taxes in the future, you will already have gone through the green transition, and you will have access to supply chains and energy that is not finite.
Hopefully, you now feel better prepared to get your business off the ground and help the corporate world towards a greener future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it expensive to transition your business to a greener business model?
Yes and no. It is certainly more expensive to start your business off in a green fashion as much of the technology is still new. However, if measured in the long run, it should be cheaper and more efficient. Read the full guide to learn more about the costs involved in becoming an eco-friendly business.
Does it pay off to use recycled materials in your business?
Yes, recycled materials are not only a gain for your business, but they are also a gain for the world as a whole. By recycling your materials, you gain more value from each material you use. Make sure to adapt your supply chain for such integrations. Check out the full guide to learn more about how recycling and recycled materials can make your business more eco-friendly.
Does my business have to be 100% green to make a difference?
No! As things are right now, it is nearly impossible for your business to be completely eco-friendly in every way. However, that doesn't mean you can't do anything. There are plenty of things you can do right now to make sure your business is more beneficial than detrimental to the health of the planet. Read the full guide for eco-friendly business practices you can use in your business today.
Enerdata: Denmark’s 2025 Carbon Tax
Decarbon8: Work from Home if You Can